Shure SRH840 Review

Shure SRH840 Review

It should be well known that the ladies and gentlemen at Shure can build good microphones. With the Shure SRH840, for a change, we take a close look at closed headphones and even within our studio headphones test marathon!

The SRH-840 is next to the “fancier flagship model” SRH-940, the top model in the middle price segment of Shure studio headphones. These are touted primarily as a recording and monitoring solution. However, the manufacturer has a significantly more expensive SRH1440 and the SRH1840 ready for audiophile demands up to mastering use. Is Shure SRH840 recording specialist or solid all-rounder?


  • Direct, balanced sound
  • Robust workmanship
  • Convenient to carry
  • Cheap


  • High altitude boost
  • Somewhat bulky


The Shure SRH840 are closed, dynamic headphones with ear-encircling cushions. With a weight of around 380g (without cable), it is not one of the lightest representatives in our marathon, but it is one of the more robust. Moreover, despite their massive appearance, the headphones offer a reasonably practical folding mechanism, with which their dimensions can be made a little more transport-friendly.

The closed design ensures that microphones do not pick up reproduced signals during recording and that there is good shielding against loud ambient noise.


The first good impression is also confirmed on closer inspection. Although the Shure SRH840 is made exclusively of black plastic and, on the surface, may have a somewhat less spectacular appearance, the auricles, as well as the temples, are of very high quality. The leatherette ear cushions and the enclosed cable can be exchanged effortlessly, which is very useful for longevity. The cable is and can only be connected on the left. The whole thing is very straightforward.

The temple also has good padding made of synthetic leather and fabric, which hides a large part of the plastic frame. Unfortunately, the Shure SRH840 cannot serve with a particularly ingenious system for size adjustment, but the plastic-in-plastic grid does its job without complaints.

The left and right auricles are marked with a letter, with the redpoint standing for right and blue symbolizing on the left, which makes it clear, even in poor light conditions, how around the Shure should be placed.

They supplied cables and Co.

In addition to the 3-meter long spiral cable, the scope of delivery also includes a screw-on, gold-plated adapter from a 3.5 mm jack plug to the professional 6.3 mm version. Shure also supplies a set of replacement pads; that is a role model! So if these should be worn out or broken, you don’t have to replace the entire headphone. The overall package is rounded off by a chic transport bag, which allows the headphones to be stowed away dust-proof when folded up.

Technology and key figures

According to the datasheet, the Shure SRH840 has a reproducible frequency spectrum from 5 Hz to 25 kHz. However, the actual sound image should be significantly narrower since this value is given without dropping at the corner frequencies. The transducers themselves have a diameter of 40 mm and are based on a neodymium magnet.

Furthermore, the headphones have a relatively low input resistance of 44 ohms. So if you have previously worked with high-impedance headphones, you should turn the volume control on the amplifier down a good bit before using it for the first time. The sensitivity of the SRH-840 is 100dB / mW. Therefore, the maximum rated load is given as 1000 mW.


Purpose of use
As closed headphones, the Shure SRH840 has good sound insulation from the outside. In addition, it is extremely level stable, so that it is well suited for monitoring when recording musicians and can also be used for FOH mixes. However, there are no more elaborate folding mechanisms to fold the headphones together to save space.


At 380 grams, the Shure SRH840 headphones are certainly one of the heavyweights in the test marathon environment, which will be noticeable in long, heavy drinking sessions. However, since I only put on headphones for a short time and use them to “cross-check” against my monitors, this point is of little relevance to me. It is very comfortable and cuddly. In addition, it sits firmly and securely, even with a violent nod of the head. The temple circumference is easy to adjust and fits my head well.

The auricles have limited mobility on two axes, but they adapt to the shape of the head completely sufficiently and comfortably. Therefore, it is quite possible to put an auricle back on the back of the head without the headphones slipping off your head. However, as I said, it cannot be stowed away in a particularly space-saving manner.

Sound Quality

During our test marathon, I also operated each headphone on different outputs or amplifiers to draw my attention to the headphones themselves and not the amplifier. The following candidates were represented, from cheap to slightly more expensive:

  • iPhone 4S
  • MacBook
  • RME Fireface UFX
  • Drawmer MC2.1

I also carried out various acoustic experiments and listened to many different mixes I knew to isolate the character of the individual headphones. Among other things, the following albums were run in “Heavy Rotation”:

  • Daft Punk – Tron (OST)
  • Clint Mansell – The Fountain (OST)
  • 50 cents – The Massacre
  • NIN – The Fragile
  • Trentemoller – Lost
  • Rabih Abou Khalil – Blue camel

Furthermore, I also heard the following pieces to compare with Peter Könneman:

  • Charlie Haden – Cancion a Paola
  • Johnny Cash – Desperado
  • Skrillex – Bangarang
  • Rihanna – Rude Boy
  • David Guetta – Sexy Bitch

Frequency response

The SRH-840 has a specified bandwidth of 5 Hz to 25 kHz, which is very flexible without the information about the drop at the corner frequencies, and so above all, the ripple limits are not described! Such a “sloppy” statement does not represent any promise of quality or has little informative value. It remains to be added that this is not solved better by any manufacturer and that the personal hearing impression varies slightly depending on the shape of the head and ears.

In any case, I spontaneously like the frequency response in connection with my head. It is relatively linear, grippy, and, above all, is fun because it doesn’t sound too over-analytical. The bass is strong and “punchy,” but not thumping either. They even remain uncompressed for a relatively long time. Only at very high levels do they start to distort. The mids are also resolved precisely and can be assessed very well. However, I found the lower highs around 4 kHz to be a bit too aggressive and, therefore, too pointed. The upper heights were masked a bit as a result.

However, in the case of a noisy environment, this does not necessarily have to be bad because, in the FOH area, this area with its nerve potential is given a lot of attention. This is where the crossover frequencies of the flown arrays are often located. In contrast, singers use S and sibilants and other interfering noises, for example, noise or HF interfering noises in the video context. The advantage is that this area remains audible even in the long term and at a low level.

Impulse behavior

The representation of transients can be described as good. Compared to the SRH-940, the SRH-840 is a bit more direct. However, in the Shures price segment, there are also a few other models within our test marathon environment, which are a bit “faster” and “crisper.” For example, the slightly more expensive Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro could be mentioned here. The Audio Technica ATH-M50 is also a little faster and even a little cheaper.

Spatial mapping

For closed headphones, the Shure provides very good localization in the stereo width. Individual instruments and their placement on the stereo stage are audible. The graduation in depth is also okay. The sound is comparatively very direct. The SRH-940, on the other hand, sounds slightly more distant in direct comparison but also a bit “wider.” The DT-770 from Beyerdynamic, on the other hand, sounds significantly “larger and more voluminous” in terms of the “spatial impression” but also tends to “dangerously beautiful drawing.” This statement also applies to the Audio-Technica ATH-M5 0.


The Shure SRH-840 are rock-solid, good headphones that don’t cost too much and appear very robust. It can be folded up a little and fits perfectly into the large travel harness. In addition, it can be used universally, as it goes live loud enough, dampens the sufficient environment for the studio, and can also be used for mixing and mastering work, as it allows fairly precise assessments—a real all-rounder and also inexpensive.

Further comment by Catharina Boutari:
The Shure 840 gives me a very good “singing feeling.” It doesn’t over-emphasize but doesn’t make anything too slim either. I also like the spatial representation very much. All in all, a great pair of headphones that unfortunately press a little on my head because the headband is a bit too wide for my head.

Further comment by Peter Könemann:
The SRH 840 has a very good spatial image for closed headphones. The sound appears tidy and differentiated. Individual instruments can be perceived separately from one another. However, the Shure headphones have a special coloring due to a significant boost between 2.5 and 5 kHz. Sound interventions inaction should not be a problem after listening and obligatory A / B comparisons. This mid/treble boost could prove to be an advantage when using the SRH 840 as monitor headphones for vocal recordings. Comfortable to wear with closed headphones.

Shure SRH840 Review
Shure SRH840 Review


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